Design, construction, and testing of a manually portable prototype device for prolonged cryostorage of hearts

J. E. Molina, A. L. Rivard, S. A. Prindle, John C Bischof, R. M. Christen, L. L. Kinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Hearts used in transplantation are perfused only once, which limits their preservation to about four hours. No lightweight device exists to allow for intermittent perfusion. Methods: This is a report of a manually portable, light-weight heart-preservation device (under 20 lbs.) capable of intermittently perfusing hearts under cryostorage (4° and 6° C). The basic container has a 16 quart/0.5 cubic feet capacity and an empty weight of 8 lbs., 5 oz. It uses a 2 lb., 5 oz. OEM 720 Series high-precision peristaltic pump - capable of speeds of 10 to 265 RPMs. Electronic touch screen programming allows at different infusion schedules. The device was tested using pig hearts. Results: The device performed faultlessly for up to 12 hours, keeping the organ cold (5°) and perfusing exact amounts during the preservation period. Electronic programming can set a wide range of perfusion schedules and maintain accurate injections until the solution reservoirs are empty. Intermittently reperfused hearts reached cardioplegic temperature within an hour, and remained so throughout six hours of observation. The fully loaded device is easily hand carried. Conclusion: This new design will offer many advantages over previous designs. Once the sterility issues are solved, it may have clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 7 2005


  • Cryostorage
  • Device
  • Hearts
  • Portable

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